Cravings happen to all of us. Yes, even nutritionists have to battle off sweet and salty desires that strike in the middle of the afternoon. They also know what to eat when a craving hits, though, which is key in continuing to work toward your ultimate weight-loss goals. In addition to learning to recognize the subtle differences between cravings and real, genuine hunger, educating yourself on how to satisfy a chocolate, soda or crispy chip craving is an important step in any weight-loss plan.|
To get you on the track to developing your own action plan before your most aggressive craving strikes next, seven nutritionists weighed in on what they turn to when salty, sweet or bubbly knock on the door.
Eat This, Not That
The Craving: Soda
To Fight the Craving: I grab seltzer flavored up with fresh fruit or a splash of 100 percent fruit juice. It's cool, refreshing and all about those fizzy bubbles—except this is much better way to stay hydrated.
Dana Angelo White, registered dietitian and certified athletic trainer at Dana White Nutrition.
The Craving: Dark chocolate with a sprinkle of salt
To Fight the Craving: One of my favorite sweet satisfactions is a frozen banana, sliced, with melted crunchy peanut butter and dark chocolate shavings on top. This works to satisfy my craving because not only does it have the sweet and salty satisfaction with the natural sugar in the banana, cocoa in the dark chocolate and salty peanut butter, but it also has the right texture and mouthfeel. Cold, warm, crunchy and creamy—what more could you ask for?
Elizabeth Shaw, M.S., R.D.N., C.L.T., Nutrition Communications Consultant at Shaw's Simple Swaps.
The Craving: Tortilla Chips
To Fight the Craving: I grab Que Pasa's Thin and Crispy Tortilla Chips in Twist of Lime flavor and usually pair it with salsa. I find that when I have a small amount of the food I'm craving, that tends to fully satisfy my craving. For me, my focus is honoring my craving in a way that makes me feel good for the short term and long term. A handful of tortilla chips with salsa and a glass of seltzer when I get home from the office really hits the spot.
Willow Jarosh, M.S., R.D., co-author of "Happy, Healthy Pregnancy Cookbook."
The Craving: Cookies
To Fight the Craving: My craving for cookies tends to hit during the 4 or 5 p.m. afternoon slump. I often make energy bites to keep on hand. I make them with a combination of sunflower butter, rolled oats, hemp hearts, shredded coconut, maple syrup and vary up the extras like cacao nibs, nuts and dried fruit. I roll this “dough” into little two-inch balls and keep them in the fridge. They are my perfect bite and provide me with the energy I need as I transition from work to mom life.
Stephanie Middleberg, M.S., R.D., author of "The Big Book of Organic Baby Food" and founder of Middleberg Nutrition.
The Craving: Any type of salty snack
To Fight the Craving: I munch on whatever is around—popcorn, pretzels or tortilla chips—and limit portions. Sometimes to satisfy the craving I eat a salad or vegetables with ginger dressing because that is savory, too. Each snack has salt and it's important to drink plenty of water, as well.
Dr. Felicia D. Stoler, D.C.N., M.S., R.D.N., F.A.C.S.M., F.A.N.D., author of "Living Skinny in Fat Genes"
The Craving: Ice cream
To Fight the Craving: I go out and buy sea-salted caramel ice cream with full fat and sugar. I don’t like anything fake because it will not satisfy my cravings. I sit down and eat a half cup slowly, savoring every spoonful. I am careful not to keep it in my home regularly and I only do it on the weekends if the cravings come.
Manuel Villacorta, M.S., R.D.N., founder of Whole Body Reboot
The Craving: Chocolate bar
To Fight the Craving: Instead of a candy bar or bag of M&M's—which clocks in at 240 calories and 10 grams of fat—I have a tablespoon of semi-sweet chocolate chips for 70 calories and four grams of fat. It satisfies my sweet tooth and need for some texture or crunch. When I’m "hungry" for chocolate, I know I’m not truly "hungry" so this small amount does the trick.
Melissa Joy Dobbins, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E. of The Guilt-Free RD
The next time a craving strikes and consumes your mind without relenting, remember that moderation is key and consider if there are other healthy snacks that can satisfy the urge for a salty or sweet snack.